Do you need a Kindergarten Homeschool Schedule?
If you are beginning to homeschool, like me, and you are someone who overthinks just a teeny bit, like me, then you may have asked this question. I have been wondering and reading about kindergarten homeschool schedules and kindergarten homeschool curriculum, and each new idea sends me off in a different direction.
How do you want your homeschool to feel?
I’ve read enough Charlotte Mason to know that what I’m after is an atmosphere conducive to growing, learning and thriving. I want home to feel relaxed, time to feel spacious, and learning to feel exciting to explore.
But, I always feel in a hurry. I have 4 little beans, and my eldest is 5. That is an absolute joy, delight, privilege, and full-on job. There are a lot of straws in the milkshake (if you’ve never read Rachel Jankovic’s blog post on mothering lots of little people at the same time I really recommend it).
Can your kindergarten homeschool be unhurried?
So you can see why I was drawn to Durenda Wilson’s book, The Unhurried Homeschooler… The title was enough to persuade me to read it, and I’m so glad I did 🙂 Wilson focuses on keeping things simple. In a world with lots of options, ideas, kindergarten schedules and homeschool curriculums, this is a sweet read.
Here are 5 things I appreciate about this book:
1. Wilson knows what she’s talking about
She talks about her experience homeschooling her eight children, many of whom are in their 20s now. It is such a relief to hear from someone who has homeschooled from kindergarten through high school, and who can see the fruit of their labor. This is a warm, passionate, straightforward kind of book from someone who has put these things into practice.
2. “Be a student of your child”
One of the many things that attracts me to homeschooling is knowing your children really well. Wilson talks about observing, seeing what strikes interest for each child, as the best way to help them make educational choices, but also just to help them in life.
3. Wilson shares her kindergarten homeschool schedule
The book is not dogmatic about schedule – Wilson simply shares her kindergarten homeschool schedule (and household routine) as a useful example. As a beginner to homeschooling and as a first generation homeschooler, I really appreciate this.
4. Fitting with your family
We all have our quirks as families and instead of trying to fit a regulation shape, Wilson suggests incorporating that into your homeschool identity. So, we spend quite a bit of time learning a second language because of our family circumstances, and of course not everyone needs to do that. That time and energy is, therefore, not spent learning the violin, or mastering rock climbing, but hey, that fits our family 🙂
5. “Have a biblical theology of suffering”
This was striking to me and relevant to any parent, homeschooling or otherwise. The questions children ask are so often probing, deep, searching and not theoretical. Some of the topics we have covered before I’ve had time to put the kettle on in the morning are astounding to me. This is an area where we can truly serve our children for life by talking with them and walking with them through suffering.
3 things I wanted more of!
1. Just more
The official description of this book is ‘A simple, mercifully short book on homeschooling’. Of course being short and sweet makes this book very readable and easy to take in, but I would happily read more! I’m sure Wilson has a lot more wisdom to share.
2. Some thoughts on self care
Often I want to appear unhurried for my children, as I have all the time in the world to read them books, play ponies, and talk about deep stuff. But I get frazzled and I think this is especially true for homeschooling moms of multiple little ones, because there is no truly quiet time in the day (or night). Is there a solution, other than the passage of time?!
3. The practicalities of slowing down
It is difficult not to hurry in a world busy with church meetings, dance classes, dentist appointments, visiting relatives, life changes and many other requests for our time. More wisdom on the practicalities of organizing and prioritizing for ourselves and our children would be so interesting and helpful to read.
All in all, The Unhurried Homeschooler is inspiring and life-giving – I read it, and felt encouraged for the task ahead. So do you need a kindergarten homeschool schedule? Well, in our family we need order and routine, but I have renewed confidence that our schedule is here to keep things spacious, rather than hurry us along.
I leave you with a quote from Hurry Up and Slow Down, one of our favorite picture books.
“Hurry up and slow down, Tortoise! We have to read all the words!
We have to look at all the pictures! Let’s read the whole book over again…”
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